Simpler DTC Customer Acquisition

Dr. Seuss once said that "sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple." That's rarely the case in programmatic media, but I have to believe it applies to many of the DTC companies I see struggling to manage their customer acquisition costs (CAC). CAC is one of the primary benchmarks that DTC marketers track, and they often get overly confident when embarking on targeted FB/IG campaigns, which can deliver extremely efficient CAC at the earliest stages of growth. Soon after, the low hanging fruit is consumed (eg. early adopters), and CAC skyrockets.

I recently attended two different conferences focused on DTC brands, and rising acquisition costs (and the associated FB/IG fatigue) are the primary concern of just about every CMO & brand manager. At least they're in good company :)

Fortunately, the answers to those issues can be simpler than many marketers think. In the same way that DTC brands have exploded by removing the middlemen (usually retailers) from the supply chain to cut costs and get closer to their customers, they need to do the same with their marketing strategy and execution. Walled gardens are essentially middlemen that sit between the brand's audience and its content. By leaning on their first-party customer data assets and activating campaigns across the web at-large, CAC becomes more consistent/predictable and less frustrating because the brands get out from under the walled gardens, stay closer to their valued audiences (and collect more data in the process) and can determine what type of content and engagement to associate with. All doable with more flexibility and without spending like a global CPG conglomerate. And still fully attributable, with CAC and LTV easily delivered. It takes a strategic and tactical grasp of the fuzzy, complex digital media landscape, but for those that understand the value, the opportunity is endless.

“Simple it’s not, I am afraid you will find, for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.” - Oh The Places You'll Go

So why aren't more DTC marketers making this choice? Are their agencies unable to provide this sort of value? Very interested to hear stories from those on-the-ground...

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